How to Plant a Eucalyptus Tree


The stately eucalyptus tree is a good choice for landscapes in USDA hardiness zones 6 and higher that have plenty of space for a tree that will grow over 200 feet tall. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia and Tasmania, where they are called "gum" trees. They have been introduced to California and other temperate regions for their hard wood, as a shade tree and as a fast-growing garden plant. The eucalyptus genus includes more than 500 species of plants, so it's wise to select one at your local nursery because it will most likely be best suited to your microclimate.

Step 1

Purchase a small eucalyptus tree that is not rootbound. If the roots are coiled at the bottom of the pot, the plant can remain stunted its entire life. Buying from a reputable nursery is the best solution to avoiding this problem.

Step 2

Prepare a planting hole in winter or early spring in an area that has well-drained soil and is in full sun. Make certain the area will be suitable for a very large, tall tree and that your eucalyptus will be at least 20 feet from other trees or buildings. The Australia Plants website recommends that you do not amend your soil with compost or other soil amendments before planting.

Step 3

Plant your young eucalyptus tree in spring if you live in a climate where frost occurs. Set your tree into its planting hole and then firm the soil around it with your foot. You can plant your eucalyptus tree deeply You can even bury part of its trunk, unlike many other types of trees. Planting in this manner will help to protect its deep roots from freezing. Then spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch on the soil around your young tree.

Step 4

Water your newly planted eucalyptus tree by running a hose at its root zone slowly for 30 minutes or longer. Do not allow the soil to dry out while the tree is young because it can become stunted and possibly die. When your tree is mature, it will be drought tolerant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not fertilize eucalyptus trees, according to the Australia Plants website. They do not like phosphorus and Australian growers have discovered that this tree gets plenty of nutrients from the soil. Do not stake your eucalyptus tree unless you must correct a tree that is not growing straight. If you must stake your tree, do not leave the stake past its first year in the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Hose


  • Gardens Ablaze: Eucalyptus
  • Australia Plants: Guide to Growing Eucalyptus

Who Can Help

  • University of Maryland Medical Center: Eucalyptus
Keywords: eucalyptus tree, Australian native plants, gum medicinal

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.